Must have Rock Climbing equipment
Any seasoned rock climber will assure you that once you have conquered a rock face, you are hooked!
Rock climbing is a physically and mentally demanding sport. It often tests a climber's strength, endurance, agility and balance along with mental control. Knowledge of proper climbing techniques and the use of specialized climbing equipment is crucial for the safe completion of routes. It is a sociable, challenging, technical and exhilarating sport with many health and fitness benefits:
- It develops arm and upper body strength needed to pull.
- Improves flexibility and agility.
- Improves grip strength.
- Boosts leg muscles and feet strength.
- Improves the body’s cardiovascular fitness.
- Refreshes and clears the mind from daily distractions.
- Develops problem-solving capabilities.
- Improves hand-eye coordination.
Types of Rock Climbing
It is hard to get across the different methods, equipment and lingo involved in rock climbing. So here is a guide to the basic types of climbing:
- Free Soloing: Free soloing is the easiest type of rock climbing to understand: No ropes are involved, and if you fall while climbing, you will fall to the ground.
- Free Climbing: Climbing using your hands and feet to find handholds and footholds to move upward on the rock. It’s different from free soloing in that you have a rope tied to a harness around your waist, and a belay partner holding the other end of that rope.
- Aid Climbing: On difficult sections, aid climbers place chocks, cams or pitons in cracks above them, attach an aider, such as a webbing ladder, and then pull themselves upward using the aider instead of pulling on the rock itself.
- Bouldering: Bouldering is the simplest form of climbing only climbing shoes, chalk and a “crash pad” to soften and protect landings.
- Deep Water Soloing: Deep water soloing is another form of rope less climbing, like bouldering, but is performed over a body of water deep enough to safely break a fall.
Principles of Rock Climbing
1. Goal-specific training: Go climbing as much as possible, as true technical proficiency can only be gained from doing the real thing.
2. Technique before strength: Good technique is the foundation of becoming a proficient technical climber.
3. Mental training: The mental aspect of climbing is one of the hardest to train. Mental training aims to develop the ability of the mind to focus on the task at hand.
4. Structured physical training: There are four main types of physical training
- Aerobic capacity
- Aerobic power
- Anaerobic capacity
- Anaerobic power
5. Endurance training: This involves doing lots of moves at lower intensities, up to a moderate. If you need to improve your general climbing fitness then do lots of this type of training, and even if you’re fit to maintain at least one session a week.
- Strength endurance training: If you have a good base of endurance and want to move up the grades or improve at mixed climbing, this is the type of physical training to focus on.
- Pure strength and weight training: Remember that strength on its own is no substitute for technique. Key areas to focus on the core strength and the shoulders.
- Maintain a training program and diary: Curate a training program with the different aspects and types of training you want to focus on and keep a diary to monitor your progress. If you stop improving re-evaluate the program.
- Maximise your talents, manage weaknesses: It goes against the old saying of “work on your weaknesses”. There is no point in putting huge amounts of effort into something that you are only ever going to be average at it.
- Recovery and diet: Make sure to rest and recover after any strength training. Eat nutrient-dense food remembering that if you’re training a lot your body needs all the good stuff too.
Dos and Don’ts of Rock Climbing
- Climb with people who know what they’re doing.
- When climbing, double-check your knots, anchors, webbing and harness.
- Invest in proper rock climbing equipment.
- Bring chalk. Your hands will get sweaty. Chalk helps to dry out your hands and gives your fingers a fighting chance.
- Don't put the webbing up against the anchor. Webbing and anchors are what the rope latches to at the top of the cliff.
- Don't forget water.
- Don't be a jerk and try to be supportive to your friends as they climb, as opposed to constantly critiquing their path choice.
The UIAA Safety Commission is the sole developer for international standards for climbing and mountaineering equipment. The Commission unites independent experts, national accredited laboratories and leading manufacturers working together to establish a baseline for the production of climbing equipment, improving and renewing standards to minimise accidents caused by equipment failure or unsafe design.
Rock climbing is more than just a sport, it is an adventure. To make the most of this adventure, you need the right climbing equipment:
- Climbing ropes: This is the single most important type of rock climbing equipment. Climbing ropes connect the entire safety chain and can save your life if you slip and fall.
- Harness: If you have a climbing rope, you need a safety harness to tie it.
- Climbing helmet: If you’re doing a form of outdoor rock climbing, your climbing helmet is designed to cushion your head from falling rock and debris.
- Climbing shoes: Not only do climbing shoes protect your feet, but their sticky rubber soles give you the friction and durability you need to grip footholds during your climb.
- Belay device: It’s essentially a mechanical friction brake device used to manage the rope.
- Chalk: Grip is such an important factor in rock climbing and chalk drastically improves your grip on the rock by absorbing sweat and other forms of moisture on your hands and skin.
- Chalk bag: You need a chalk bag to store chalk during the climb. You can opt for both style and substance with a chalk bag since it’s one of the few rock climbing items which can be deemed fashionable.
- Carabiners: A carabiner is a powerful, light ring used to connect the climbing rope with other pieces of climbing protection.
- Quickdraws: A quickdraw is a useful piece of rock climbing equipment. It is composed of two carabiners attached by a textile sling, and are used to allow the climbing rope to operate smoothly.
Most noteworthy, have fun and be secure. For adventure enthusiasts, rock climbing is a really good hobby to pick up.